On Squatting…Again

ON SQUATTING…AGAIN

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNITS, PARTICULARLY, THE BARANGAYS SHOULD BE BLAMED FOR THE PROLIFERATION OF SQUATTERS AS ONLY THEY, ARE THE ONES IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE LATTER. INDIRECTLY, THE NEXT LEVEL OF LGU – TOWNS AND CITIES CAN BE BLAMED, TOO. PART OF THE REGULAR  REPORT OF BARANGAYS SHOULD BE THE PRESENCE OF SQUATTERS IN THEIR AREAS AND WHAT THEY ARE DOING ABOUT THEM. AND, THE MUNICIPAL AND CITY GOVERNMENTS SHOULD POUND THE BARANGAYS FOR THEIR INACTION.

 

THE BARANGAY SHOULD IMMEDIATELY PUT A STOP TO ANY ATTEMPT OF SQUATTING. UNFORTUNATELY, IT IS NOT BEING DONE SO THAT IN TIME, THE SMALL CLUSTER OF MAKESHIFT HOMES BECOMES ANOTHER BARANGAY BASED ON POPULATION.

 

WHAT IS THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (DILG) DOING ABOUT THE IRRESPONSIBLE LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS?….NOTHING!!!

 

THE DILG AND OTHER CONCERNED AGENCIES, ONE OF WHICH IS THE DSW, WAIT UNTIL THE SQUATTING PROBLEM HAS COME TO AN UNCONTROLLED LEVEL BEFORE THEY ACT BY DEMOLISHING HOMES AND RESETTLING INFORMAL SETTLERS TO RELOCATION SITES THAT ARE NOT FIT FOR HABITATION DUE TO THE ABSENCE OF BASIC FACILITIES AND SAFE ROADS THAT THE UPROOTED CITIZENS  AND THEIR CHILDREN COULD TAKE TO THEIR JOBS AND SCHOOLS  IN THE URBAN AREAS WHERE THEY CAME FROM.

 

THIS PROBLEM IS “HISTORIC” IN NATURE, AS IT HAS BEEN GIVING THE GOVERNMENT A HEADACHE SINCE THE COMMONWEALTH DAYS OF THE COUNTRY….BUT, OF COURSE, THE BLAME NATURALLY GOES TO THE IRRESPONSIBLE OFFICIALS, AS EARLY ON, CUDDLING OF SQUATTERS FOR THEIR RELEVANCE DURING ELECTION HAS BEEN A CORRUPT TRADITION.

 

TOTAL ELIMINATION OF SQUATTING SHOULD NOT FORM PART OF DUTERTE’S PROMISES TO THE FILIPINOS AS THIS CONCERN IS A WORLD-WIDE PHENOMENON THAT HINGES ON POVERTY, ESPECIALLY, IN THIRD-WORLD COUNTRIES LIKE THE PHILIPPINES. DUTERTE SHOULD PROMISE ONLY DOABLE PROJECTS TO MAKE HIM A “REALISTIC PRESIDENT”….NOT A QUIXOTIC OR A DREAMING ONE.